During the NDT Conference many questions came up which begged further explanations but time was short and everything couldn’t be pursued to its logical conclusion. So in order to tie up some loose ends, and because it can prove difficult to correlate the hands on practical work with the schematics of the model, I offer the following overview.
(1) All behavior is a function of emotion and all emotion is a function of attraction. (2) When emotion can’t flow to a state of complete and utter satisfaction, then stress is acquired. (3) Stress, the physical memory of emotion that failed to run to “ground” (emotional grounding is mediated by the hunger circuitry) must be triggered by an agency as intense as the agency which caused its formation. (4) The acquisition of stress as a physical memory of emotional experience begets a more complex form of attraction and motive, i.e. attraction to the “negative” in order to convert stress back into flow so that it can be resolved. This is how nature improves according to the Constructal law. (5) Stress becomes resolved if the subject and the triggering agency can interact so as to manifest an emotional wave pattern akin to running at full speed, which itself is an anatomical/muscular wave pattern moving through the body. The five core exercises—bite and carry—-barking—-rub-a-dub—-pushing—-collecting—activate and strengthen that wave function so that the dog perceives movement even when things aren’t moving, and even when its stress has been triggered by an agency of intensity that previously had elicited survival instincts. The most practical benefit of teaching heel, sit, down, stay, recall in terms of this wave pattern, is that lessons thus derived can be performed under duress because it emanates from the core, unlike other lessons that are acquired through fine motor manipulation, such as clicker training and dominance obedience training.
My method with each and every dog and no matter the context, is to trigger the dog’s physical memories of unresolved emotion and then work to smooth it into a pure wave function through the core exercises. When triggered, and then by not allowing old coping strategies the free range to exert themselves and dominate the dog’s range of responses, a dog will volunteer where it wants to be on the wave and how it is able to participate. The dog begins to feel in control of what is happening around it because this wave pattern is the very basis of its construct of reality and it feels an immediate payoff seeing the triggering agency responding in terms of the wave pattern. Some dogs might lie down, some might bark, some will jump up or grab with its jaws. My next move is to springboard off of whatever opening is being offered in order to amplify the wave that the dog is experiencing and which we can see building up within its body and then coursing through its movements. The core exercises; pushing–barking–bite and carry—rub-a-dub—collecting; are central in NDT methodology because each enhances a specific dynamic within the overall wave template. A wave is how two beings integrate, and integration is the only way unresolved emotion can be resolved.
That’s NDT in a nutshell and this can be tested by anyone willing to look at the behavior of dogs (or any animal) with both an open mind, and while simultaneously resisting the urge to inject thoughts into what they’re observing.
Books about Natural Dog Training by Kevin BehanIn Your Dog Is Your Mirror, dog trainer Kevin Behan proposes a radical new model for understanding canine behavior: a dog’s behavior and emotion, indeed its very cognition, are driven by our emotion. The dog doesn’t respond to what the owner thinks, says, or does; it responds to what the owner feels. And in this way, dogs can actually put people back in touch with their own emotions. Behan demonstrates that dogs and humans are connected more profoundly than has ever been imagined — by heart — and that this approach to dog cognition can help us understand many of dogs’ most inscrutable behaviors. This groundbreaking, provocative book opens the door to a whole new understanding between species, and perhaps a whole new understanding of ourselves.
|Natural Dog Training is about how dogs see the world and what this means in regards to training. The first part of this book presents a new theory for the social behavior of canines, featuring the drive to hunt, not the pack instincts, as seminal to canine behavior. The second part reinterprets how dogs actually learn. The third section presents exercises and handling techniques to put this theory into practice with a puppy. The final section sets forth a training program with a special emphasis on coming when called.|